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Apurva & Alka Bagri : Combining business with charity

The Bagris are passionate supporters of the arts and education


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AMONG the prominent Asian business families in the UK, Apurv and Alka Bagri are distinct in an important respect – they put a huge amount of effort into developing the arts.

There are “his and hers” areas of responsibility in the running of the family’s charitable Bagri Foundation – Apurv’s passion is educa­tion while Alka’s is the arts. “I just do what I do, and I do it with 100 per cent of my heart and soul in it,” confides Alka.

Meanwhile, as president and CEO of the metals trading group Metdist, Apurv might be – as his wife says – “a hardcore businessman”, as was his late father, Lord Raj Bagri, who came from Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1959 and went on to become the chairman of the Lon­don Metal Exchange for 10 years, the first In­dian to hold the post. A copper engraving with his image was unveiled in his memory at the exchange on October 9 this year.

Apurv, who will turn 60 next year, is chair­man of governors at the London Business School, where there is a chair in economics es­tablished in his father’s name. He will forever remain his father’s son: “There are lots of families here who do great work and who have the capacity to spend 10 or 20 times what we spend. But the thing I am proud of in our family is the great legacy of compassion that my dad has left us, and his be­lief that doing well was about doing good.”

Alka agrees: “Yes, creating wealth is impor­tant; yes, creating a success in your business is important… but we need something to nourish our souls.” She and Apurv are perfect partners: “My field is completely art, while major funding for education is done by Apurv because he under­stands education

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